Last night, the Louisiana GOP held presidential nominating caucuses. It had to be the most convoluted caucus process yet, and it has been difficult to get information on who might have scored delegates to the national convention out of the process.
Unlike other GOP caucuses, Louisiana did not conduct a "straw poll" of its caucus attendees, so there are no percentages to report as to presidential preferences of those who went.
However, those who attended voted for delegates to county conventions, which in turn will select delegates to the state convention, which in turn will determine who goes as Louisiana's 47 delegates (about the same number as highly contested Florida) to the national convention. If a majority of delegates at a particular caucus site voted in their slate, then the candidate supported by that slate will ultimately get some delegates to the Big Dance in September.
As best we can tell, Ron Paul supporters enthusiastically attended the caucuses and voted for their delegates. Many Paul supporters, in web-posts, suggested that they had enough votes to win a majority of the delegates at their caucus sites. The Republican Party of Louisiana, however, reports that a slate of "uncommitted" delegates under the banner of "pro-life/pro-family" swept the caucuses in all congressional districts (subject to resolution of disputes over some provisional ballots) and will thus control which candidate gets support from Loosianans.
As best we can tell, the "pro-life/pro-family" slate represents a coalition of candidates, excluding Ron Paul, but including McCain, Romney, Huckabee and Thompson. If that's so, how they'll divide up the spoils--smoke-filled back room?--is pretty unclear. Here's a sample ballot from the pro-life slate, featuring a photo of Ronald Reagan and urging voters to "[k]eep the Republican Party focused on Ronald Reagan's values of less government, more freedom, strong families and a strong national defense." Well gosh, who could be against that--maybe they should run in every state!
Louisiana is also holding a non-binding primary on February 9. If a candidate gets more than 50% of the vote in that primary, then he will win 20 of Louisiana's delegates (the at-large and bonus delegates). Otherwise, those delegates will be "uncommitted"--but will be picked by the mysterious "pro-life/pro-family" delegates who won out last night.
Of course, the pro-life slate will ultimately have to figure out who they really support, which could lead to all kinds of squabbling.
Bottom line: we won't know who's gotten delegate support from Louisiana until after the state convention on February 16.